Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Racial Profiling Definition:

Targeting of individual members of a particular racial group, on the basis of the supposed propensity of the entire group.

In R v Richards, Justice Rosenberg adopted this definition;

"Racial profiling is criminal profiling based on race.  Racial or colour profiling refers to that phenomenon whereby certain criminal activity is attributed to an identified group in society on the basis of race or colour resulting in the targeting of individual members of that group.  In this context, race is illegitimately used as a proxy for the criminality or general criminal propensity of an entire racial group."

In a report prepared for the Government of Quebec in  2008, the authors Bouchard and Taylor adopted this definition:

"Racial profiling refers to any action taken by one or more individuals in a position of authority in respect of an individual or a group of people for reasons of security or public protection, which is based on actual or presumed affiliation factors such as race, colour, ethnic or national origin or religion, without a genuine motive or reasonable suspicion, and which exposes the individual to scrutiny or different treatment. Racial profiling also includes any action by individuals in a position of authority who apply a measure disproportionately to segments of the population, in particular because of their actual or presumed racial, ethnic or national or religious affiliation."

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